India head coach Ravi Shastri on Thursday revealed that he spoke to MS Dhoni, around whom there’s much speculation about the former India captain’s future. Dhoni has not been in action since India’s ICC World Cup 2019 semi-final exit against New Zealand.
Shastri however, feels that Dhoni is almost done in the ODI format, but if he has a good Indian Premier League (IPL 2020), then he could be in contention for this year’s 2020 T20 World Cup.
“I have had a conversation with MS and that is between us,” he said.
“He has finished his Test career, he may soon end his ODI career. So, he will be left with T20, he will definitely play the IPL. One thing I know about Dhoni is that he will not impose himself on the team. But if he has a cracking IPL, well, then..,” Shastri said in an interview with CNN News18.
Shastri pointed out that form and experience in the middle order will be key as far as the decision between Dhoni, Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson is concerned.
“We will have to consider the person’s experience and form. They will bat in the number 5-6 position. If Dhoni plays well in IPL then he does put himself in contention.”
The coach also threw his weight behind Pant, who has in recent times come under the scanner for his wavering form with bat and gloves.
“Pant is just 21, how many 21-year-old-wicketkeepers have made 100s?” he asked.
“He hasn’t dropped many catches and everyone is entitled to make mistakes. As he matures, he will get better. These things don’t happen overnight. There is no question that he is a match winner. Talent is there, he is doing everything to cash in. He is working hard on his wicket-keeping.”
Quizzed about his views if Tests were to be reduced to four days, Shastri said:”Four-day Test is nonsense,” he said.
“If this goes on we may have limited overs Tests. There is no need to tamper with five-day Tests. If at all they want to tamper then let the top six sides play five-day Tests and the next six be allowed to play four-day Tests. If you want preserve Tests then let the top six play more against each other. You have the shorter format to popularise the game.”
He also said day-night Tests are a work in progress. “Day-night Test is still under test. I still feel that pink ball does not give any advantage to spinners, they need to get the ball right for day night. During the day you have full Tests, by night it looks like half Test.
“I still feel that you will get more people to watch Tests if you have the top six play each other (more often).”